Dell rumored to be building a convergence device

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There was a time when I carried a PDA, cell phone, music player and camera, when I dreamed of a convergence device that would take care of all these needs. That day has arrived, and the contest to provide these functions is drawing the biggest players. Google and Apple both made huge news this year with the unveiling of the iPhone and the upcoming Google phone. Now Dell is rumored to be joining the party.

According to Engadget, Dell is rumored to be making plans to unveil its own 'everything' device early next year. The company, which is leaving the PDA market, has partnered with Quanta of Taiwan to develop a handheld combination phone, internet browser, entertainment player with, I'm speculating, PDA-like features as well.

The question I have is whether this phone/device will be tied to a specific cell phone network, ala the iPhone/AT&T deal, or designed to take advantage of free wireless coverage, more like a laptop computer. The latter would suffer from huge gaps in coverage, while the former would cut off customers of non-partnering networks.

Dell offers some appealing tech (I'm writing this on my new Dell laptop), so I'm interested to see if they are up to the challenge posed by Apple and Google. The pace of change in this field is mindboggling. Is Dell up to speed?

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